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By Shannon Pierce
We’ve all experienced aches and pains. We ice them, heat them, and pop a few ibuprofen hoping to be able to head to the gym or get back to work the next day. But what if the pain persists? What if it feels different or more severe than normal? How do you tell which type of aches and pains to worry about and which to ignore?
A recent article by the TODAY show explains a few ways we can tell if we need to visit the doctor or even the hospital when we experience pain. In the interview, emergency room physician Leigh Vinocur explained that there are certain pains that could be a sign you need to visit the doctor or even seek immediate care.
The best way to determine if your pain is something more serious is through your own intuition. We can often tell when “something isn’t right,” and if you hear one of your friends or family members mutter those terms, it is crucial that you take them seriously.
Let’s take a look at a few more ways you can tell more about your body and the signs it is trying to give you.
For instance, certain types of leg or calf pains can potentially be a signal that there is a blood clot in a leg vein. You may have heard stories of women on birth control experiencing this or people on bed rest. People on airplanes or people that have been sitting in small spaces for long periods of time may also experience blood clots. The pain may feel different than a normal cramp and you should get to the emergency room as fast as possible.
Severe toothaches may also be an indicator that something is more serious when the pain begins to travel down your neck. This is called Ludwig’s angina and happens when a tooth abscess infection has traveled down your neck. Signs of this condition include a swollen neck, red neck, funny sounding voice, drooling, not being able to swallow saliva, and restricted airways. Seek help fast!
Finally, headaches can be very severe at times for people suffering from migraines. However, a headache that indicates a bleeding stroke is often called a “thunderclap headache” and may cause a person to become unconscious. People with high blood pressure should be wary of this condition, and it may also be passed down genetically.
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